With glorious aquamarine waters and vibrant coral reefs, it can seem like the Whitsunday Islands are all about the ocean. The picture-perfect seas here are ideal for sailing, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, and exploring. While the region is truly a paradise for yachting and water activities galore, it’s also a haven for wildlife, and not only those who make their home beneath the waves. The Whitsundays contain approximately 175 species of marine birds which traverse the skies, islands, and seas. Some of these live here year round, while others are migratory species just passing through.
Keep Your Eyes on the Skies
On your Whitsunday yacht charter, you’ll be treated to views of pure sandy beaches, impressive greenery-covered island ridges, and endless horizons stretching out as far as the eye can see. At night, you’ll witness a sky full-to-bursting with twinkling stars. But while you’re enjoying the incredible sights in every direction, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the region’s avian friends. Birdwatching in the Whitsundays definitely leaves you in for a treat.
The curlew and brolga are long-legged birds that inhabit the region. There are a few different types of curlews with the most common being the bush stone curlew. Mostly nocturnal birds, curlews sleep during the day and hunt in the evenings. You can identify them by their distinctive, eerie “wailing” cry.
The brolga is a large gray crane, famous as the official state bird emblem of Queensland. If you are supremely lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Brolga’s signature dance. This extensive choreography is performed by the birds as part of an elaborate courtship ritual, and may involve just a pair of brolgas, or an entire group.
The distinctive call of the Sulphur-crested cockatoo won’t be missed during your Whitsunday yacht charter. Gathering in the trees, these cockatoos are large and active, and generally travel in groups. With loud and energetic cries, this species is hard to ignore!
Perhaps the only more recognisable bird cry in the region is the jovial laugh of the kookaburra. These long-billed birds are found here in the Whitsundays as well as other parts of Australia.
A majestic species, the white bellied sea eagle is Australia’s second largest raptor. The eagle flies through the air diving to catch its prey. Occasionally, these beautiful birds can get a little mischievous, so hang onto your BBQ if a white bellied sea eagle is about!
The Whitsundays are home to several significant bird nesting and roosting sites. Some of these are permanently off limits to the public, while others have restriction periods that must be adhered to. Click the link for specific details about these nesting areas.
Protecting Our Birdlife
The Whitsundays is an incredible natural area unlike any other place on earth. It is of vital importance to protect and conserve the habitats of the region’s wildlife. There are a few things to keep in mind with regards to treating Whitsunday birds with respect and care:
● Be sure to keep clear of seabirds or shorebirds. This includes taking care when launching and landing
● Collect your rubbish and any fishing gear, and if you find any Take 3 For The Sea to prevent harm to the birds and other wildlife
● Take extra precautions when walking on the shore, to avoid stepping on nests or eggs
● Never attempt to touch birds or eggs
● Exercise extra awareness at dawn and dusk
● In nesting areas, keep excessive noise to a minimum. Do not create loud or sudden sounds.
● Take caution when fishing if birds are around
A Whitsunday yacht charter is the perfect opportunity to see these beautiful birds in their natural habitat. And now is the perfect time to book! Get in touch with our team today for more details on planning the sailing holiday of a lifetime.